After honoring the legacy of PFC Zachary Salmon at the Bengals game on Thursday night, my dad made his way to the bus station for a few hours of rest before catching an early morning megabus for $1 to Buffalo.
MEET THE WARRIORS
ARMY SGT RYAN HACKETT
On April 5, 2006, while on routine patrol in Iraq, the Humvee Ryan was driving was struck with an IED. The shrapnel was strong enough to penetrate the vehicle, and caused injuries to both the gunner and Ryan. A large piece of shrapnel came through the door and passed through both of his legs. The truck lost control and began to swerve on the road. The vehicle finally came to a stop after it struck the wall of an Iraqi residents home. A tree was pinning the door of the Humvee shut, and because of his injuries he wasn’t able to be carried out the other door. Some other members of his unit arrived and were able to hack away enough of the tree to get the door open.
Ryan was able to be evacuated from the area by helicoptor. After several hours in the emergency room, the doctors and nurses were able to stabilize him. Due to the severing of both of his femoral arteries, he received over 200 blood transfusions during the operation. A few days later Ryan was transferred to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in DC where he remained for the next year and a half doing physcial therapy.
Since his injury: Ryan got married in 2013. He enjoys spending time with his English bulldog, skiing, and going to concerts and movies. He earned his masters degree in English education in December of 2014.
Ryan was nominated by his wife Sarah who told us he is a die hard Bills fan who would love to meet Jim Kelly. Mission Accomplished. It was an honor to host Ryan at the Bills game and make their Warrior Wishes come true!
ARMY SSG TIMOTHY PAYNE
Timothy Payne was inspired to join the Army after the events that took place on 9/11. He enlisted right out of High School.
In July of 2011, Tim was serving on his 3rd deployment when the 32-year-old Army veteran lost both his legs and severely injured his left hand after an improvised explosive device detonated under him during a combat mission in Afghanistan’s Kandahar Province.
“I was making my final check with the soldiers and that’s when I got blown up – it was pretty intense. I remember everything I thought I was blown in half. recalls Tim.
SSG Payne was transferred to Walter Reed Medical Center where he spent a year and a half recovering from the blast. After enduring more than 100 surgeries his spirit remains unbreakable.
“It’s been a rough road, but I can’t thank the American people enough on their dedication to give back to the soldiers and just pay it forward,” said Payne.
Tim now travels the country promoting his new book “The Squad Leader’s Bargain” and hopes to inspire others by sharing his story and showing them that nothing is impossible. He works hard every day to always be the best he can be.
“You just adapt to your limitations and just keep on going,” he said.
SSG Payne was nominated by his mom who told us Tim was a die hard bills fan & his favorite player was also Jim Kelly. It was an honor to make this warrior wish come true!
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